Mississippians in the Great War : Selected Letters
Even Mississippi textbooks rarely mention the part Mississippi men and women played in World War I. Mississippians in the Great War presents in their own words the story of Mississippians and their roles. This body of work divides into five sections, each associated with crucial dates of American action. Comments relating to various military actions are interspersed throughout to give the reader a context of the wide variety of experiences. Additionally, where possible, Anne L. Webster provides information on the soldier or sailor to show what became of him after his service.
Webster examined newspapers from all corners of the state for "letters home," most appearing in newspapers from Natchez, Greenville, and Pontotoc. The authors of the letters gathered here are from soldiers, aviators, sailors, and relief workers engaged in the service of their country. Letter writing skills varied from citizens of minimal literacy to those who would later become published authors and journalists.
These letters reflect the experiences of green, young Mississippians as they endured training camp, voyaged across the Atlantic to France, and participated in horrific battles leaving some scarred for life. To round out the picture, Webster includes correspondence from nurses and YMCA workers who describe drills, uniforms, parades, and celebrations.